Worldwide Cost of Living 2012 - World's Most Expensive & Cheapest Cities to Live

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Which city is the most expensive to live in? Which city is the cheapest? by Economist Intelligence Unit. The Economist - The findings of the latest Worldwide Cost of …

Which city is the most expensive to live in? Which city is the cheapest? by Economist Intelligence Unit. The Economist - The findings of the latest Worldwide Cost of
Living Survey

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  • 1. Worldwide Cost of Living 2012Which city is the most expensive to live in?Which city is the cheapest? www.eiu.com
  • 2. Worldwide Cost of Living 2012 Which city is the most expensive to live in? Which city is the cheapest? The findings of the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey Currency swings move global players For the first time in at least two decades of reporting the worldwide cost of living survey Zurich sits atop the ranking as the world’s most expensive city. An index swing of 34 percentage points pushed the Swiss city up 4 places compared to last year to overtake Tokyo which remains in 2nd place. Geneva, the other Swiss city surveyed saw a 30 percentage point rise in the cost of living to move up six places into joint third alongside Osaka. Both Japan and Switzerland have seen strong currency movements over the last few years which have made them relatively more expensive. This has become especially true of Switzerland in the last year, where investors looking for a haven currency outside the beleaguered Eurozone have invested heavily in the Swiss Franc, prompting an unprecedented move by the Swiss government to peg the Swiss Franc to the Euro to keep the currency competitive. Although Switzerland has long featured in, or around, the world’s most expensive cities, the strong swing in currency headwinds is responsible for Zurich’s current elevated position. In local terms the opposite has been true, with relatively cheaper imports and a stable economy keeping local price inflation low. This mirrors a similar situation in Japan over recent years which resulted in Tokyo and How much it cost – then and now White sliced loaf of bread, White rice, Regular unleaded petrol Item 1 kg (supermarket) (US$$) 1 kg (supermarket) (US$$) (1 l) (low price) (US$) 10 10 10 Last 5 years Last 5 years Last 5 years City/date Now years Now years Now years year ago year ago year ago ago ago ago Zurich $6.15 $5.10 $3.93 $3.93 $5.38 $3.68 $3.04 $2.38 $2.26 $1.60 $1.36 $0.82 Tokyo $7.96 $7.24 $5.03 $4.60 $7.76 $7.78 $5.27 $3.98 $1.90 $1.56 $1.20 $0.89 Paris $6.57 $5.36 $4.14 $2.55 $3.93 $3.78 $3.23 $2.82 $2.17 $1.67 $1.89 $0.94 Sydney $3.48 $2.46 $2.41 $1.81 $2.97 $2.38 $1.53 $0.78 $1.50 $1.06 $0.85 $0.47 Melbourne $2.28 $3.51 $2.17 $1.36 $3.05 $2.28 $1.58 $0.94 $1.50 $1.08 $0.89 $0.46 Singapore $3.19 $2.86 $2.31 $1.38 $2.54 $2.91 $0.95 $0.60 $1.70 $1.29 $1.11 $0.77 Perth $5.81 $4.66 $3.29 $1.98 $4.10 $3.21 $2.02 $1.24 $1.47 $1.09 $1.02 $0.46 London $2.26 $2.29 $1.20 $0.99 $4.81 $3.83 $1.37 $1.60 $2.15 $1.80 $1.67 $1.10 Hong Kong $2.91 $2.46 $2.51 $1.53 $1.77 $1.77 $1.40 $1.41 $2.13 $1.97 $1.73 $1.46 Shanghai $3.58 $3.36 $1.64 $2.05 $2.44 $1.82 $1.64 $1.18 $1.22 $0.98 $0.46 $0.34 Moscow $7.57 $6.19 $1.79 $0.73 $2.25 $2.03 $1.49 $0.91 $0.96 $0.83 $0.70 $0.31 New York $6.06 $6.06 $3.50 $3.51 $3.78 $3.58 $4.36 $2.19 $1.11 $0.73 $0.64 $0.39 Beijing $1.85 $1.76 $1.51 $1.78 $2.23 $2.06 $1.51 $1.21 $1.31 $1.05 $0.58 $0.34 Mexico city $4.94 $3.47 $2.70 $1.49 $2.03 $2.01 $4.34 $5.26 $0.77 $0.66 $0.60 $0.59 Bangkok $2.47 $2.31 $1.50 $1.12 $1.44 $1.28 $0.66 $0.40 $1.20 $1.10 $0.69 $0.35 New Delhi $0.76 $0.64 $0.49 $0.45 $2.18 $2.90 $1.10 $0.72 $1.39 $1.10 $1.01 $0.61 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 3. Worldwide Cost of Living 2012 Which city is the most expensive to live in? Which city is the cheapest? Osaka traditionally holding the unenviable title of being the world’s most expensive cities. Local inflation in mature markets always has far less influence on the relative cost of living than the currency movements of the countries in question. This also explains the recent presence of Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne in the ten most expensive locations as last year saw the Australian dollar pass parity with the US dollar from holding half that value a decade ago. Mature markets still the most expensive As well as currency movement, structural factors maintain the high cost of living in many of the top cities. Despite Eurozone weaknesses affecting markets like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy, evidence is that German and French cities are still relatively expensive with Paris and Frankfurt holding firm in the ten most expensive. Oslo, which was considered the world’s most expensive city only a few years ago also sits towards the top of the ranking although Singapore’s presence in the top ten highlights a shift away from Western Europe towards Asian hubs. Cities from the Asia Pacific region (including Australasia) now make up half the ten most expensive. That said, Western Europe still accounts for 24 of the most expensive cities in the top 50, with 14 hailing from Asia The ten most expensive WCOL index Country City Rank Rank movement (New York=100) Switzerland Zurich 170 1 4 Japan Tokyo 166 2 -1 Switzerland Geneva 157 3= 6 Japan Osaka Kobe 157 3= -1 Norway Oslo 156 5 -2 France Paris 150 6 -2 Australia Sydney 147 7 -1 Australia Melbourne 145 8 0 Singapore Singapore 142 9 -3 Germany Frankfurt 137 10 -1 Subcontinental bargains Although Asian hubs are making their presence felt at the top of the cost of living stakes, another kind of Asian hub is making its presence felt at the bottom. Three of the four cheapest locations hail from the Indian subcontinent, highlighting why India has been such a target of labour outsourcing, relocation and FDI over the last decade. The cheapest cities in the ranking are dominated by Asian and Middle Eastern cities. The latter of these is due, in part, to the use of price controls and the pegging of currencies to the US dollar. The former seems to have a more structural basis, with cheap labour and land costs making India and Pakistan incredibly attractive to those bargain hungry visitors or investors willing to brave some of the security risks that accompany such low prices, especially in Pakistan. © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 4. Worldwide Cost of Living 2012 Which city is the most expensive to live in? Which city is the cheapest? The ten least expensive WCOL index Country City Rank Rank move (New York=100) Amman Muscat 63 120= -10 Bangladesh Dhaka 61 123 -3 Algeria Algiers 59 124 2 Nepal Kathmandu 58 125= 2 Panama Panama City 58 125= -4 Saudi Arabia Jeddah 57 127 -6 India New Delhi 56 128 0 Iran Tehran 54 129 0 India Mumbai 52 130 0 Pakistan Karachi 46 131 0 Background: about the survey The Worldwide Cost of Living is a bi-annual (twice yearly) Economist Intelligence Unit survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. They include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs. The survey itself is a purpose-built internet tool designed to calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers. The survey incorporates easy-to-understand comparative cost of living indices between cities. The survey allows for city to city comparisons, but for the purpose of this report all cities are compared to a base city of New York, which has an index set at 100. The survey has been carried out for more than 30 years. Methodology More than 50,000 individual prices are collected in each survey, conducted each March and September and published in June and December. EIU researchers survey a range of stores: supermarkets, mid- priced stores and higher priced specialty outlets. Prices reflect costs for more than 160 items in each city. These are not recommended retail prices or manufacturers’ costs; they are what the paying customer is charged. Prices gathered are then converted into a central currency (US dollars) using a prevailing exchange rate and weighted in order to achieve comparative indices. The cost-of-living index uses an identical set of weights that is internationally based and not geared toward the spending pattern of any specific nationality. Items are individually weighted across a range of categories and a comparative index is product using the relative difference by weighted item. For more information on the Worldwide Cost of Living survey http://www.worldwidecostofliving.com © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 5. Best City in the World Contest 2012 - win $10,000 Know where the best city in the world to live is? Prove it and win $10,000. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and BuzzData want you to tell us where the best city in the world is – and prove it with data and a visualization. What makes a city good to live in? To get your creative and analytical juices flowing, we’re sharing with you the EIU’s opinion – check out the EIU’s renowned liveability index for 140 cities on BuzzData. We’re also sharing the EIU’s cost of living index for the same cities so you’ve got some hard data on the relative prices of some of the important things in life. But are we considering the right factors? Are there others? What data is missing from our evaluation? Show us and you could win $10,000. Challenge & Judging Criteria The EIU has made available two datasets on BuzzData.com: 1. The EIU’s renowned “liveability” index for 140 cities around the world 2. Its “cost of living” index for the same cities. Your mission: to create a new “liveability” index, using the 140 cities in the EIU’s datasets, that determines which is the best city in the world to live in, using these datasets PLUS any additional publicly available data sources that you wish to use (note: see the Contest Rules for information on using additional data). You are also required to create a visualization of the new index that you’ve created. By way of guidance, the judging panel will be scoring submissions based on criteria including (but not limited to): l a) Visual impact of the submission; l b) Originality of the underlying idea; l c) The practical applications of the submission; l d) The breadth of data used for the submission; and l e) The international appeal of the submission. Once we’ve selected a shortlist from all the submissions, we’ll open it up to the public: people will be able to vote as to their preferred submission on the shortlist and how they vote will be considered by the judging panel. How To Enter First, read the Contest Rules. By participating in this contest, you agree to be bound by these rules. We also suggest that you bookmark this page and the Contest Rules page for future reference; please check back from time to time for any updates. © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 6. Access analysis on over 200 countries worldwide with the Economist Intelligence Unit T he analysis and content in our reports is derived from our extensive economic, financial, political and business risk analysis of over 203 countries worldwide. You may gain access to this information by signing up, free of charge, at www.eiu.com. Click on the country name to go straight to the latest analysis of that country: G8 Countries l Canada l Germany l Japan l United Kingdom l France l Italy l Russia l United States of America BRIC Countries l Brazil l Russia l India l China CIVETS Countries l Colombia l Vietnam l Turkey l Indonesia l Egypt l South Africa Or view the list of all the countries. Further reports are available from Economist Intelligence Unit and can be downloaded at www.eiu.com. Should you wish to speak to a sales representative please telephone us: Americas: +1 212 698 9717 Asia: +852 2585 3888 Europe, Middle East & Africa: +44 (0)20 7576 8181 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 7. Access analysis and forecasting of major industries with the Economist Intelligence Unit I n addition to the extensive country coverage the Economist Intelligence Unit provides each month industry and commodities information is also available. The key industry sectors we cover are listed below with links to more information on each of them. Automotive Analysis and five-year forecast for the automotive industry throughout the world providing detail on a country by country basis Commodities This service offers analysis for 25 leading commodities. It delivers price forecasts for the next two years with forecasts of factors influencing prices such as production, consumption and stock levels. Analysis and forecasts are split by the two main commodity types: “Industrial raw materials” and “Food, feedstuffs and beverages”. Consumer goods Analysis and five-year forecast for the consumer goods and retail industry throughout the world providing detail on a country by country basis Energy Analysis and five-year forecast for the energy industries throughout the world providing detail on a country by country basis Financial services Analysis and five-year forecast for the financial services industry throughout the world providing detail on a country by country basis Healthcare Analysis and five-year forecast for the healthcare industry throughout the world providing detail on a country by country basis Technology Analysis and five-year forecast for the technology industry throughout the world providing detail on a country by country basis © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 8. Meet your specific research needs with our Custom Research service S uccessful strategies leave nothing to chance. That is why business leaders throughout the world commission custom research from the Economist Intelligence Unit to enrich their insight for sharper business decisions. EIU Custom Research was established in 2004 to provide a superior level of knowledge to clients who need a more thorough understanding of current markets and growth opportunities at a strategic or operational level. This specialist service delivers bespoke business intelligence that is deeper and broader than the published reports and subscription-based services for which we are renowned. Benchmarking We can provide a detailed evaluation of competitors operating in a market you are considering for expansion, evaluate local human capital, the overseas talent market, labour market conditions and how local regulations will affect your organisation—positively or negatively—to help you to prioritise markets for expansion and pinpoint hidden opportunities for growth and profitability. Find out more by reading this case study. Country analysis We can provide you with an in-depth understanding of specific political and economics issues and forecasts including scenario analysis.You may be interested in business environment analysis or cross- country benchmarking—our global reach and ability to focus on your business needs within a cross- country framework is unparalleled. Find out more by reading this case study. Forecasting We are able to help you to understand where you are most likely to find the greatest demand for your products or services—now, and over time. Our unrivalled database of over 200 countries, combined with our ability to offer more granular research, allows us to do this effectively. Find out more by reading this case study. Indexing Our expertise is not limited to business or government applications. We can combine our analysis and modelling capabilities with access to global academic experts to develop highly customised indexes that highlight particular factors that your organisation needs to be aware of. Find out more by reading this case study. Market sizing We can help you to determine the best markets in which to expand, how to expand effectively, and what your organisation needs to be ready to manage this expansion. We do this by drawing from our peerless databases of macroeconomic and demographic analysis and forecasting, combined with sophisticated econometric modelling services. Find out more by reading this case study. © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 9. Meet your specific research needs with our Custom Research service Product demand We can identify where the greatest demand for your product—and the greatest opportunity for expansion—may lie through our access to industry leaders, combined with our expert forecasting and analysis capabilities. Find out more by reading this case study. Risk analysis We can identify obstacles your company may face from exposure to new markets and new opportunities in a comparative framework that sets unfamiliar markets and situations alongside places and activities you already know. We can provide country-specific, operational and financial risk ratings to help you to make informed decisions on a number of different indicators, including early warning of possible market and industry threats in areas such as security, tax policy, supply chain, regulatory, creditworthiness and labour markets. Find out more by reading this case study. Visit our website at www.eiu.com/research Or Should you wish to speak to a sales representative please telephone us: Americas: +1 212 698 9717 Asia: +852 2585 3888 Europe, Middle East & Africa: +44 (0)20 7576 8181 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
  • 10. Future Cities summit series Join us and 150 leading lights in urban planning, construction, transport, energy, architecture and sustainability. At Future Cities we will explore innovative new approaches to designing, managing and financing sustainable living environments. The summits will feature leading authorities in urban planning, construction, transport, energy, architecture and sustainability, during two days of discussion and debate led by editors from The Economist Group. Join us and discover answers to the most challenging questions around designing, managing and financing the cities of tomorrow. WCOL report readers can benefit from a special 20% discount, quoting code WCOL/DC when registering. Future Cities Moscow March 30th 2012, Moscow www.economistconferences.com/citiesmoscow Future Cities Africa May 30th – 31st 2012, Lagos www.economistconferences.com/africacities Future Cities October 2012, Istanbul www.economistconferences.com/cities Past testimonials “I loved the venue, the city, the people and the sharing of ideas.” Policy Analyst/ Urban Designer, Pedestrian Village inc. “Shows the broad perspective of our challenges and future possibilities on how to make the world a liveable planet.” Manager Development Urban Transformation, LKAB © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2012
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  • 12. While every effort has been taken to verify the accuracyof this information, The Economist Intelligence UnitLtd. cannot accept any responsibility or liability forreliance by any person on this report or any of theinformation, opinions or conclusions set out in thisreport.Cover image - © Lazar Mihai-Bogdan/Shutterstock
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